White Sox avoid arbitration with Abreu, Rodon, Avilan, Leury Garcia
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The White Sox avoided arbitration on Friday with first baseman Jose Abreu and three others but did not come to terms with right fielder Avisail Garcia or infielder Yolmer Sanchez.
Abreu agreed to a $13 million contract for 2018. The Sox also agreed to terms with left-hander Carlos Rodon ($2.3 million), outfielder-infielder Leury Garcia ($1.175 million) and left-hander Luis Avilan ($2.45 million).
Avisail Garcia, coming off a breakout All-Star season, filed for $6.7 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, while the Sox filed at $5.85 million. According to MLBtraderumors.com, Garcia was projected to make $6.7 million.
Unless the Sox negotiate a deal in the coming weeks, Avisail Garcia and Sanchez will go to arbitration, a process the Sox have avoided since 2001, when Keith Foulke won his hearing for $3.1 million.
Abreu was projected to be paid $17.9 million. After the 2016 season, he opted into salary arbitration for the final three years of the six-year deal he signed with the Sox as a highly sought free agent out of Cuba. He made $10.825 million in 2017.
Abreu has been the subject of trade rumors as the Sox proceed in their rebuild. His $13 million price tag would seem to enhance his value on the market, although projections aren’t always on the money and Abreu’s particular case wasn’t clear-cut. He and Avisail Garcia, also considered a potential trade target, are under club control for two more seasons.
Abreu, 30, batted .304 with 33 homers, 43 doubles and 102 RBI in 2017, leading the American League with 343 total bases. He was the third player in major-league history to begin his career with four or more consecutive seasons of 25-plus homers and 100-plus RBI, joining Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols.
Rodon, 25, who isn’t expected to be ready by Opening Day after having arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, went 2-5 with a 4.15 ERA over 12 starts last season. Avilan, 28, was acquired from the Dodgers in a three-team trade Jan. 4. He was 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA last season.
Leury Garcia, 27, missed most of September with a thumb injury but put up his best career numbers in 2017, batting .270 with nine homers, 15 doubles and 33 RBI. He started 47 games in center field and could start there on Opening Day.
Avisail Garcia, 27, and Sanchez, 25, are coming off the best seasons. Garcia had 18 homers, 80 RBI and an .885 OPS. Sanchez batted .267 with 12 homers and 59 RBI and was the Sox’ best defensive infielder in 2017. He ranked third in Baseball Reference War (3.5) among the Sox, behind Abreu (4.7) and Avisail Garcia (4.5). MLBtraderumors.com projected Sanchez’s salary at $2.1 million.
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